Cervical Spinal Stenosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

woman suffering from cervical spinal stenosis
woman suffering from cervical spinal stenosis

What is Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

If you’ve been experiencing neck pain, tingling in your arms, or other discomforts, understanding this condition is the first step towards finding relief. Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition that involves the narrowing of the spinal canal in your neck. This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, leading to a range of symptoms. In this article, we’ll break down the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for cervical spinal stenosis.

Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and insights you need to make informed decisions about your health and well-being. So, let’s dive in and explore what cervical spinal stenosis is all and how we can help you find relief and regain your quality of life.

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What Causes Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

Understanding the causes cervical spinal stenosis is essential when it comes to effectively managing and mitigating its impact. Several factors contribute to the condition including age-related degeneration, previous neck injuries, and genetic predisposition.

Age-related Degeneration: One of the primary causes of cervical spinal stenosis is the natural aging process. As we age the natural wear and tear on our spinal discs can lead to the narrowing of the spinal canal.

Previous Neck Injuries: If you’ve experienced neck injuries in the past or have a family history of spinal issues, your susceptibility may be higher.

Herniated Discs: Our discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on the nerves or spinal cord, causing spinal stenosis.

Medical Conditions: Conditions such as Paget’s disease or infections, can impact the spine and increase the risk of stenosis.

What Are The Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

Understanding the common symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis can help you detect it early and get access to management quickly. While it manifests in various ways, here are some of the most frequent symptoms we see…

Neck Pain and Stiffness: Persistent neck pain is one of the biggest signs of cervical spinal stenosis. This discomfort arises from the pressure exerted on the nerves and spinal cord, often intensifying over time. The pain can range from mild aches to severe discomfort, it can restrict motion, and make everyday activities such as turning and tilting the head exceedingly challenging.

Weakness in The Arms or Hands: Patients often report a noticeable decline in their strength as spinal stenosis progresses. Weakness in the arms and hands stems from the nerve compression in the cervical spine, leading to decreased nerve signals to the muscles. This symptom can drastically affect one’s ability to perform routine tasks, from lifting objects to simple gestures.

Numbness or Tingling Sensations: Feeling numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, or fingers can come on as a result of disrupted nerve function due to the narrowed spinal canal. Patients often describe the feeling as “pins and needles”, an uncomfortable yet telling sign that something is going on.


Early identification of cervical spinal stenosis is essential for effective management. Diagnosing this condition involves a thorough physical examination followed by imaging tests to ensure tailored treatment.

Physical Examination: The doctor evaluates the patient’s neck pain, flexibility, strength, and reflexes, with pecific tests as needed to assess nerve function and identify areas of discomfort.

Imaging Tests: Imaging is used to confirm the diagnosis and is complemented by imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, offering detailed insights into the condition.

Treatment Options

There are various treatments available depending on the severity of the condition.

Patients can manage pain and inflammation with medications prescribed by their doctor, although we recommend having a tailored program designed by an expert physical therapist to help improve stength, flexibility mobility, and quality of life.

Ready To Get Help With Physical Therapy?

Navigating the path to relief from neck pain and stenosis doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The journey begins with understanding the nature and source of your discomfort and exploring suitable paths to relief.

If neck pain and stenosis have been a constant companion, and you’re prepared to step into a world where pain doesn’t dictate your daily life, click here to fill out this form and tell us more about what’s going on, and our team will be in touch. You can also give us a call here: (360) 474-3274

If you’re not quite ready to talk to us yet, why not download our Neck Pain guide? It goes in depth on how to get to the root cause of neck pain without having to speak to the Doctor or rely on pills for relief.

Download your FREE copy here.

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Andrew Vertson